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Everything you need to know about UEFA Euro 2024 football championship

In Sport, World
June 09, 2024

The UEFA Euro 2024 tournament will be held in Germany, and 24 teams will compete to be crowned the champions of Europe.

Italy are the title defenders, having won the last edition by beating England in the final on penalties.

The 2024 edition marks the return of the tournament to its usual four-year cycle after the 2020 edition was postponed to 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Here’s everything you need to know about Euro 2024:

What are the key dates?

The monthlong championship will start on June 14 at the Munich Football Arena with hosts Germany playing Scotland.

The group stage will run until June 26 with the knockout stage beginning on June 29. The final will be played on July 14 at the Olympiastadion in Berlin.

This will be the first time Germany has hosted the tournament since its unification in 1990. The 1988 edition was staged in what was then West Germany.

Germany was chosen as the host nation at a UEFA Executive Committee meeting in Nyon, Switzerland, in 2018. Turkey was the only other nation that bid to host the tournament.

Where is the tournament being held?

Ten venues have been chosen for the tournament. Of those, nine were used when Germany hosted the 2006 FIFA World Cup.

Here are the host cities and stadiums:

⚽ Berlin: Olympiastadion Berlin (capacity: 71,000)
⚽ Cologne: Cologne Stadium (43,000)
⚽ Dortmund: BVB Stadion Dortmund (62,000)
⚽ Dusseldorf: Dusseldorf Arena (47,000)
⚽ Frankfurt: Frankfurt Arena (47,000)
⚽ Gelsenkirchen: Arena AufSchalke (50,000)
⚽ Hamburg: Volksparkstadion Hamburg (49,000)
⚽ Leipzig: Leipzig Stadium (40,000)
⚽ Munich: Munich Football Arena (66,000)
⚽ Stuttgart: Stuttgart Arena (51,000)

Munich will stage matches for the second Euro in succession, having been one of 11 venues that held matches during Euro 2020.

Wide shot of football stadium.
Munich Football Arena will be one of the stadiums used during Euro 2024 [Alexandra Beier/AFP]

How many teams are taking part?

Twenty-four teams divided into six groups will participate in the tournament. There will be 51 matches in total.

⚽ Group A: Germany, Scotland, Hungary, Switzerland
⚽ Group B: Spain, Croatia, Italy, Albania
⚽ Group C: Slovenia, Denmark, Serbia, England
⚽ Group D: Poland, Netherlands, Austria, France
⚽ Group E: Belgium, Slovakia, Romania, Ukraine
⚽ Group F: Turkey, Georgia, Portugal, Czech Republic

Georgia are the only team making their European Championship finals debut while Ukraine and Poland qualified via the playoffs.

INTERACTIVE - UEFA EURO teams-1717665555

Who are the favourites?

France, Germany, England, Portugal and Spain are among the frontrunners.

Portugal were the only side who won all their games during the qualifying phase while France and England were unbeaten and Spain lost only one match.

Germany are also considered one of the favourites on account of being the hosts, even though they had a disappointing performance at the 2022 World Cup.

Which key teams failed to qualify?

Sweden and Norway are the two big names who failed to qualify for Euro 2024. The Swedes did not make the cut for the Euros for the first time since 1996 while Norway have not played since 2000.

Their failure to qualify means fans will miss out on watching high-profile Premier League players such as Erling Haaland, Martin Odegaard and Alexander Isak in Germany.

Player kicks football during match.
Manchester City superstar striker Erling Haaland will not take part in Euro 2024 after Norway failed to qualify [Marko Djurica/Reuters]

What is the tournament format?

The top two teams from each group along with the four best third-place finishers will progress to the round of 16. That will be followed by the quarterfinals, semifinals and the final.

The Euro 2024 winner will compete in the 2025 CONMEBOL-UEFA Cup of Champions against the 2024 Copa America winner.

What is the squad size?

UEFA, which governs European football, confirmed in May that the maximum squad size will increase from 23 to 26 players.

Teams were allowed 26-man squads at Euro 2020 due to the impact of the pandemic, but UEFA had initially planned to revert to the 23-man teams at Euro 2024.

Expanded squads were also permitted at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar because it was played in the middle of the domestic season.

Expanded squads are beneficial for managers as the busy schedule at the club level creates more risk of injuries to players.

When do teams have to submit their squads?

Participating countries had until June 7 to provide UEFA with a squad list containing a minimum of 23 players and a maximum of 26.

Euro 2024 trophy and ball placed on stadium ground.
The trophy that 24 teams will be playing for at Euro 2024 [Alexandra Beier/AFP]

You can follow the action on Al Jazeera’s dedicated Euro 2024 tournament page with all the match build-up and live text commentary, and keep up to date with group standings and real-time match results and schedules.

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